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Physical therapists provide treatments to those who have been involved in accidents, who have experienced trauma or have disabling or chronic conditions. These treatments are designed to relieve or alleviate pain, strengthen muscles, improve range of motion, or improve function and mobility. Conditions that are addressed by physical therapists vary widely but can include arthritis, lower back pain, fractures, head injuries, or stroke recovery.

Physical Therapists picture    Physical Therapists image

Physical Therapy Schools

The following five physical therapist schools offer doctoral degrees in physical therapy. All schools are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education:

  • Alabama State University: This state university offers a three-year clinical doctorate that prepares students to sit for the National Physical Therapy Exam.
  • Medical University of South Carolina: With a long background of educating physical therapists (since 1973), this school's Doctor of Physical Therapy program provides students with the opportunity for clinical learning and community-based service.
  • Regis University: Located in Denver, Colorado, this university's Doctor of Physical Therapy program provides evidenced-based education with a focus on clinical technique.
  • The University of New England: This university in Portland, Maine aims to prepare graduates to meet the latest needs in the field of physical therapy by analyzing clinical decision-making and diagnosis.
  • The University of North Florida: This school in Jacksonville, Florida offers a doctoral program in physical therapy that prepares students to take the national licensure exam to become generalist practitioners.

Physical Therapist Education Requirements

The physical therapist education requirements dictate that students have a minimum of a master's degree to practice in their field, and many obtain doctorates.

Physical therapy degree programs require both classroom and laboratory instruction in addition to clinical hours. Undergraduates should pay special attention in their science and math courses. Physical therapy master's and doctoral degree programs typically include instruction in the following:

  • Biology
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Exercise physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Biomechanics
  • Pharmacology
  • Behavioral science

Clinical work is a must and many programs require volunteer work in a physical therapy environment prior to being accepted into a program.

Physical Therapist Licensing

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, all states require physical therapists to obtain licensure to practice. Licensure requirements vary from one state to the next, but all require physical therapists to earn at least a master's degree from an accredited physical therapy school and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination. Additionally, you may need to meet additional state-specific physical therapist training requirements. Continuing education units (CEUs) in physical therapy are mandatory for maintaining your license -- a requirement designed to keep physical therapists up to speed on advances in knowledge or technology affecting the field.

Physical Therapist Resources

Sources:

  1. Alabamba State University, http://www.alasu.edu/academics/colleges -- departments/health-sciences/physical-therapy/index.aspx
  2. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Physical Therapist, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm
  3. Medical University of South Carolina, https://www.musc.edu/chp/pt/
  4. Regis University, http://www.regis.edu/RHCHP/Schools/School-of-Physical-Therapy.aspx
  5. University of North Florida, https://www.unf.edu/brooks/movement_science/graduate_program.aspx
  6. The University of New England, http://www.une.edu/wchp/pt/doctor-pt

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Physical Therapists

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Physical Therapists jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 730 $86,100
Hoover 730 $86,100
Mobile 250 $79,350
Huntsville 110 $98,760
Tuscaloosa 100 $87,730
Dothan 90 $100,380
Fairhope 60 $63,110
Foley 60 $63,110
Daphne 60 $63,110
Gadsden 60 $97,620
Muscle Shoals 50 $79,550
Florence 50 $79,550
Opelika 40 $82,890
Auburn 40 $82,890
Decatur 40 $84,580
Oxford 40 $94,420
Jacksonville 40 $94,420
Anniston 40 $94,420
Montgomery N/A $85,100
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 320 $98,400
Fairbanks 60 $90,920
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 2130 $83,930
Mesa 2130 $83,930
Phoenix 2130 $83,930
Tucson 410 $84,540
Prescott 140 $75,290
Flagstaff 120 $76,020
Kingman 50 $92,490
Lake Havasu City 50 $92,490
Yuma 40 $81,280
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 780 $80,350
North Little Rock 780 $80,350
Little Rock 780 $80,350
Jonesboro 100 $85,200
Hot Springs 50 $79,930
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 6950 $91,790
Los Angeles 6950 $91,790
Anaheim 6950 $91,790
San Francisco 2790 $102,010
Oakland 2790 $102,010
Hayward 2790 $102,010
Carlsbad 1870 $90,630
San Diego 1870 $90,630
Ontario 1230 $88,500
Riverside 1230 $88,500
San Bernardino 1230 $88,500
San Jose 1130 $98,100
Sunnyvale 1130 $98,100
Santa Clara 1130 $98,100
Arcade 970 $99,460
Sacramento 970 $99,460
Arden 970 $99,460
Roseville 970 $99,460
Fresno 570 $96,560
Thousand Oaks 490 $85,780
Ventura 490 $85,780
Oxnard 490 $85,780
Lodi 300 $93,240
Stockton 300 $93,240
Vallejo 300 $108,840
Fairfield 300 $108,840
Santa Maria 250 $93,230
Santa Barbara 250 $93,230
Santa Rosa 240 $95,700
Watsonville 210 $100,610
Santa Cruz 210 $100,610
Bakersfield 190 $94,550
Salinas 180 $91,870
Modesto 160 $103,870
Redding 130 $92,890
Arroyo Grande 120 $89,720
Paso Robles 120 $89,720
San Luis Obispo 120 $89,720
Chico 120 $95,510
Porterville 90 $95,730
Visalia 90 $95,730
Merced 60 $100,980
Napa 50 $107,220
El Centro 40 $89,560
Corcoran 40 $101,010
Hanford 40 $101,010
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 2260 $74,410
Lakewood 2260 $74,410
Denver 2260 $74,410
Colorado Springs 720 $74,390
Boulder 410 $70,580
Fort Collins 300 $74,620
Greeley 170 $73,730
Grand Junction 120 $81,540
Pueblo 80 $99,270
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 1430 $83,310
West Hartford 1430 $83,310
Hartford 1430 $83,310
New Haven 820 $84,440
Stamford 660 $90,400
Bridgeport 660 $90,400
Norwalk 660 $90,400
Waterbury 190 $85,070
Danbury 190 $94,830
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 100 $84,320
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 3550 $80,280
Fort Lauderdale 3550 $80,280
West Palm Beach 3550 $80,280
Clearwater 1520 $81,850
Tampa 1520 $81,850
St. Petersburg 1520 $81,850
Sanford 1060 $85,460
Orlando 1060 $85,460
Kissimmee 1060 $85,460
Jacksonville 1010 $86,220
Bradenton 550 $91,480
Sarasota 550 $91,480
North Port 550 $91,480
Cape Coral 390 $79,880
Fort Myers 390 $79,880
Ormond Beach 390 $90,640
Daytona Beach 390 $90,640
Deltona 390 $90,640
Titusville 380 $90,300
Palm Bay 380 $90,300
Melbourne 380 $90,300
Pensacola 340 $88,220
Ferry Pass 340 $88,220
Brent 340 $88,220
Gainesville 330 $77,730
Port St. Lucie 330 $85,540
Lakeland 280 $78,510
Winter Haven 280 $78,510
Ocala 240 $87,790
Naples 240 $89,460
Marco Island 240 $89,460
Immokalee 240 $89,460
Fort Walton Beach 210 $82,660
Crestview 210 $82,660
Destin 210 $82,660
Tallahassee 200 $86,980
Homosassa Springs 140 $90,760
Punta Gorda 120 $83,480
Sebastian 100 $88,690
Vero Beach 100 $88,690
Panama City 90 $78,720
Sebring 60 $79,270
The Villages 30 $91,680
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sandy Springs 2970 $79,790
Atlanta 2970 $79,790
Roswell 2970 $79,790
Macon 210 $89,320
Savannah 150 $81,510
Rome 130 $77,490
Warner Robins 110 $59,650
Athens 100 $82,050
Clarke County 100 $82,050
Gainesville 100 $88,740
Brunswick 40 $92,510
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 500 $84,210
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 460 $71,700
Idaho Falls 80 $80,640
Coeur d'Alene N/A $82,830
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria 350 $86,210
Rockford 230 $79,850
Springfield 230 $88,240
Urbana 160 $78,930
Champaign 160 $78,930
Bloomington 140 $78,170
Kankakee 80 $76,110
Carbondale 70 $87,160
Marion 70 $87,160
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Carmel 1670 $84,810
Anderson 1670 $84,810
Indianapolis 1670 $84,810
Fort Wayne 400 $80,360
West Lafayette 140 $90,880
Lafayette 140 $90,880
Columbus 90 $48,440
Terre Haute 90 $73,110
Goshen 70 $87,060
Elkhart 70 $87,060
Muncie 60 $82,130
La Porte 50 $83,500
Michigan City 50 $83,500
Kokomo N/A $88,210
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 470 $82,890
Des Moines 470 $82,890
Cedar Rapids 190 $72,950
Iowa City 140 $75,250
Cedar Falls 120 $77,350
Waterloo 120 $77,350
Dubuque 80 $71,650
Ames 40 $74,570
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 260 $75,080
Topeka 170 $90,190
Lawrence 80 $69,140
Manhattan 60 $79,080
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lexington 470 $82,520
Fayette 470 $82,520
Bowling Green 100 $89,220
Fort Knox 70 $86,570
Elizabethtown 70 $86,570
Owensboro 50 $78,640
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baton Rouge 590 $83,980
Metairie 570 $76,490
New Orleans 570 $76,490
Lafayette 320 $51,090
Bossier City 190 $78,650
Shreveport 190 $78,650
Lake Charles 150 $66,200
Alexandria 120 $97,200
Thibodaux 90 $87,390
Houma 90 $87,390
Hammond 80 $83,740
Monroe 70 $89,250
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 550 $74,170
Portland 550 $74,170
Bangor 150 $75,200
Auburn 100 $72,810
Lewiston 100 $72,810
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 2390 $86,660
Columbia 2390 $86,660
Baltimore 2390 $86,660
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 250 $89,260
New Bedford 140 $93,200
Pittsfield 110 $85,940
Gardner 100 $89,220
Leominster 100 $89,220
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warren 3770 $84,140
Detroit 3770 $84,140
Dearborn 3770 $84,140
Grand Rapids 1190 $81,990
Wyoming 1190 $81,990
Ann Arbor 420 $82,000
Flint 360 $82,920
East Lansing 340 $74,290
Lansing 340 $74,290
Saginaw 340 $76,370
Kalamazoo 220 $80,120
Portage 220 $80,120
Bay City 160 $76,980
Muskegon 130 $73,180
Battle Creek 100 $70,410
Midland 90 $81,090
Monroe 60 $58,030
Niles 60 $76,710
Benton Harbor 60 $76,710
Jackson N/A $89,710
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 240 $82,920
St. Cloud 200 $81,940
North Mankato 80 $76,490
Mankato 80 $76,490
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 470 $90,560
Gulfport 190 $81,530
Pascagoula 190 $81,530
Biloxi 190 $81,530
Hattiesburg 100 $83,390
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 410 $84,740
Columbia 140 $70,900
Joplin 130 $75,990
Jefferson City 90 $63,860
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Missoula 190 $71,710
Billings 150 $73,100
Great Falls 70 $71,230
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 280 $73,350
Grand Island 80 $72,390
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 1090 $104,510
Henderson 1090 $104,510
Las Vegas 1090 $104,510
Reno 310 $86,650
Carson City 40 $87,270
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 310 $80,780
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 330 $87,630
Atlantic City 200 $79,200
Hammonton 200 $79,200
Vineland 100 $90,430
Bridgeton 100 $90,430
Ocean City 60 $83,450
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 580 $88,520
Las Cruces 140 $85,890
Santa Fe 60 $77,560
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 1010 $77,630
Niagara Falls 900 $72,320
Cheektowaga 900 $72,320
Buffalo 900 $72,320
Albany 670 $69,850
Schenectady 670 $69,850
Troy 670 $69,850
Syracuse 560 $71,070
Utica 190 $70,540
Rome 190 $70,540
Binghamton 170 $73,340
Kingston 120 $86,900
Glens Falls 90 $73,840
Ithaca 70 $63,020
Fort Drum 70 $66,010
Watertown 70 $66,010
Elmira 40 $69,020
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 880 $75,740
Chapel Hill 570 $74,600
Durham 570 $74,600
Asheville 440 $82,090
Salem 420 $83,540
Winston 420 $83,540
Greensboro 350 $85,070
High Point 350 $85,070
Wilmington 220 $82,240
New Bern 210 $66,460
Morganton 190 $85,900
Lenoir 190 $85,900
Hickory 190 $85,900
Fayetteville 170 $77,160
Rocky Mount 170 $85,660
Greenville 100 $79,110
Burlington 90 $83,650
Jacksonville 50 $76,010
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 160 $67,340
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria 1330 $84,180
Cleveland 1330 $84,180
Columbus 1210 $75,200
Dayton 590 $85,670
Akron 460 $87,480
Toledo 420 $83,690
Canton 310 $76,230
Massillon 310 $76,230
Springfield 90 $82,700
Mansfield 50 $74,720
Lima 50 $83,530
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 850 $81,880
Tulsa 570 $86,810
Lawton 60 $91,220
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 290 $91,210
Salem 200 $80,850
Redmond 180 $73,700
Bend 180 $73,700
Medford 160 $76,820
Corvallis 70 $78,530
Grants Pass 60 $78,940
Albany 40 $85,390
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 2680 $79,480
Barre 630 $84,930
Scranton 630 $84,930
Hazleton 630 $84,930
Wilkes 630 $84,930
Harrisburg 580 $88,280
Carlisle 580 $88,280
Lancaster 350 $85,180
Hanover 340 $90,550
York 340 $90,550
Erie 310 $74,720
Reading 200 $85,750
Johnstown 140 $69,070
Bloomsburg 140 $84,010
Berwick 140 $84,010
Altoona 130 $82,310
State College 110 $71,090
Chambersburg 90 $82,760
Waynesboro 90 $82,760
Williamsport 70 $82,480
East Stroudsburg 70 $91,920
Lebanon 60 $82,090
Gettysburg 30 $93,670
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 410 $41,760
Carolina 410 $41,760
San Juan 410 $41,760
Ponce 40 $39,220
Mayag´┐Żez 30 $42,030
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 540 $88,760
Mauldin 540 $88,760
Greenville 540 $88,760
Columbia 490 $72,340
Charleston 450 $78,590
North Charleston 450 $78,590
Spartanburg 250 $82,120
Bluffton 130 $73,170
Beaufort 130 $73,170
Hilton Head Island 130 $73,170
Florence 130 $89,360
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 310 $70,990
Rapid City 120 $75,370
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 1520 $83,090
Davidson 1520 $83,090
Murfreesboro 1520 $83,090
Nashville 1520 $83,090
Knoxville 520 $80,170
Jackson 130 $79,420
Johnson City 130 $88,160
Cleveland 60 $85,840
Morristown 40 $95,890
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dallas 4320 $93,530
Arlington 4320 $93,530
Fort Worth 4320 $93,530
Sugar Land 2360 $88,820
The Woodlands 2360 $88,820
Houston 2360 $88,820
New Braunfels 1480 $86,130
San Antonio 1480 $86,130
Round Rock 1100 $86,030
Austin 1100 $86,030
El Paso 310 $97,310
Mission 230 $91,920
Edinburg 230 $91,920
McAllen 230 $91,920
Temple 220 $91,540
Killeen 220 $91,540
Corpus Christi 190 $101,390
Lubbock 170 $83,520
Tyler 170 $89,640
Abilene 120 $95,830
Harlingen 120 $113,380
Brownsville 120 $113,380
Amarillo 110 $82,750
Laredo 100 $117,690
Port Arthur 90 $92,620
Beaumont 90 $92,620
Wichita Falls 90 $95,500
Longview 80 $94,510
Victoria 80 $97,610
Denison 70 $89,650
Sherman 70 $89,650
Waco 70 $94,940
Midland 50 $76,340
Bryan 50 $87,070
College Station 50 $87,070
Odessa 40 $78,230
San Angelo 40 $97,200
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 770 $77,340
Clearfield 300 $88,090
Ogden 300 $88,090
Provo 200 $84,110
Orem 200 $84,110
St. George 70 $85,330
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 310 $75,040
Burlington 310 $75,040
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 910 $81,350
Roanoke 270 $80,450
Charlottesville 240 $81,240
Lynchburg 110 $87,790
Harrisonburg 100 $99,520
Waynesboro 90 $81,720
Staunton 90 $81,720
Christiansburg 60 $79,930
Blacksburg 60 $79,930
Radford 60 $79,930
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tacoma 2890 $85,800
Seattle 2890 $85,800
Bellevue 2890 $85,800
Spokane 500 $81,520
Spokane Valley 500 $81,520
Tumwater 170 $88,000
Olympia 170 $88,000
Richland 140 $85,830
Kennewick 140 $85,830
Bremerton 110 $75,330
Silverdale 110 $75,330
Bellingham 100 $78,310
Yakima 90 $81,110
Mount Vernon 80 $77,200
Anacortes 80 $77,200
Wenatchee 80 $89,770
Walla Walla 40 $92,850
Longview 30 $90,500
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Morgantown 220 $67,170
Beckley 170 $75,180
Charleston 120 $83,050
Parkersburg 80 $83,020
Vienna 80 $83,020
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Milwaukee 1440 $79,850
Waukesha 1440 $79,850
West Allis 1440 $79,850
Madison 640 $78,210
Appleton 180 $75,790
Green Bay 160 $85,100
Racine 100 $79,350
Wausau 100 $85,300
Neenah 90 $73,080
Oshkosh 90 $73,080
Janesville 90 $83,700
Beloit 90 $83,700
Sheboygan 90 $89,250
Fond du Lac 80 $82,150
Eau Claire 80 $86,310
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheyenne 60 $85,570
Casper 40 $73,750

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Physical Therapists

To find out more about building a career as Physical Therapists, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Physical Therapists

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Medical Office 85,180 51% $72,850
Hospital 53,410 32% $73,000
Nursing And Residential Care 12,310 7% $76,370
Education 6,680 4% $63,830
Government 3,530 2% $71,840
Office Services And Staffing 2,750 1% $74,370
Social Service 1,990 1% $73,500
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Get Info links.
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Physical Therapists.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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